Parasitic plants get some or all of their food and water from other plants. At Sandwich on the sea shore and in the sand dunes, three such plants were photographed;
- yellow rattle attacks the roots of grasses, taking water and minerals from its host. It is hemiparasitic as it does process its own leaves for photosynthesis.
Here it is growing on the beach area next to Sea Holly and Biting Stonecrop.
Another very common parasite here on the beach and the dunes is the common broomrape, below.
It has no chlorophyll and is wholly parasitic on a number of plants including clover & dandelions,
By contrast the Bedstraw broomrape, below is rare and found on the Kent coast.
Above Bedstraw broomrape is flowering among a group of Pyramidal Orchids.